Photo: Frances Andrijich / Wine Australia

Continued sustainable growth in the value of Australian wine exports

Market Bulletin | Issue 154
Photo: Frances Andrijich / Wine Australia
01 May 2019
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In the year ended March 2019, Australian wine exports increased 5 per cent in value free on board (FOB) to $2.78 billion and decreased in volume 3 per cent to 814 million litres (90 million 9-litre case equivalents). The volume decline was driven by a decrease of 8 per cent in shipments below an average value of $2.50 per litre. This resulted in a 9 per cent increase in the overall average value of exported wine to $3.41 per litre, the highest level since 2009.

The decline in overall exported volume is due to a combination of factors:

  • Australia’s 2018 vintage was smaller than the record-breaking 2017 vintage, meaning there is relatively less supply available for shipping overseas
  • international supply pressures have eased with a larger 2018 global vintage, increasing competition in the market, and
  • premiumisation in established wine markets around the world is pushing down overall volume demand while increasing value.

Australian wine supply is expected to remain constricted in the short term, with much of the 2018 vintage yet to hit market and it is expected that the 2019 vintage will be smaller.

Exporter performance

There were 2603 active exporters in the year ended March 2019, a 16 per cent increase from the previous year. During the period, 1786 companies either started exporting or increased the value of their exports, contributing $374 million to the growth in overall value. This growth was partially offset by 1328 exporters whose export value decreased or ceased shipment altogether; their exports declined by $246 million.

Volume and value growth rates by exporter size illustrate largely positive performances (see Figure 1). While volume decreased by 4 per cent for the largest exporters (those exporting more than 100,000 9-litre case equivalents), all other exporter size segments showed healthy growth rates in both volume and value, with the smallest exporters exhibiting the strongest growth. The largest exporters make up 2 per cent of the number of exporters but contribute 87 per cent of total volume of exported wine, while the smallest exporters make up 89 per cent of exporters but only 5 per cent of the volume.

Figure 1: Export growth rates by exporter size

Figure 2: Share of exporters and total volume by exporter size

Volume exported in MAT March 2019 # of exporters Share of exporters Million cases exported Share of total export volume
> 100,000 9l cases 54 2% 79 87%
50,001-100,000 9l cases 41 2% 2.9 3%
10,001-50,000 9l cases 199 8% 4.2 5%
< 10,000 9l cases 2309 89% 4.7 5%
Total 2603 100% 90 100%

In the year ended March 2019, there was robust growth in most price segments (see Figure 3). Exports with an average value of $10 per litre and above increased 14 per cent in value to $888 million and 19 per cent in volume to 40 million litres, a record volume. Reflecting the global premiumisation trend, exports below $5 per litre decreased 2 per cent in value to $1.36 million and 6 per cent in volume to 692 million litres.

Price segments

Figure 3: Exports by price segment (million AUD FOB)

Price segment (A$litre) MAT March 2019 Value change Growth rate
$2.49 and under $527 -$21 -4%
$2.50 to $4.99 $829 $0.2 0.0%
$5.00 to $7.49 $371 $31 9%
$7.50 to $9.99 $164 $10 6%
$10.00 to $14.99 $242 $44 22%
$15.00 to $19.99 $74 $0.8 1%
$20.00 to $29.99 $224 $76 51%
$30.00 to $49.99 $104 $8.0 8%
$50.00 to $99.99 $163 -$30 -16%
$100.00 to $199.99 $35 $16 86%
$200.00 + $45 -$6.4 -12%
Total value $2,779 $128 5%

Destinations

As illustrated in Figure 4, nearly all destinations imported more Australian wine in the year ended March 2019 than the previous period. North America is still the exception, with excellent growth in exports to Canada unable to outweigh the decline in exports to the United States of America (USA).

The regions in growth are:

  • Northeast Asia, 8 per cent to $1.2 billion
  • Europe, 3 per cent to $612 million
  • Southeast Asia, 7 per cent to $170 million
  • Oceania, 15 per cent to $107 million, and
  • the Middle East, 16 per cent to $32 million.

Figure 4: Value change by region (million AUD FOB)

Variety performance

Some of Australia’s most popular varieties experienced excellent growth in the past 12 months. Exports of wine labelled as Shiraz (and blends) increased by 11 per cent in value to $983 million, while Chardonnay grew by 4 per cent to $207 million. Cabernet Sauvignon declined slightly, by 3 per cent to $513 million. Other varieties that experienced growth include:

  • Pinot Grigio, 4 per cent to $33 million
  • Riesling, 4 per cent to $23 million
  • Pinot Gris, 4 per cent to $23 million, and
  • Grenache, 9 per cent to $21 million.

Image: Andre Castelluci / Wine Australia

Regional performance

Many of Australia’s diverse wine regions also experienced a growth in exports. Wine labelled as Barossa or Barossa Valley increased by 14 per cent to $166 million, while McLaren Vale wines increased by 25 per cent to $107 million. Other regional label claims that experienced growth include:

  • Clare Valley, up 9 per cent to $30 million
  • Langhorne Creek, up 32 per cent to $28 million
  • Yarra Valley, up 11 per cent to $22 million
  • Adelaide Hills, up 9 per cent to $22 million, and
  • Limestone Coast, up 23 per cent to $21 million.

For more information on exports, please read the Export Report (available to levy-payers only).


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